Guide To Chaga Mushrooms in Australia: Where To Buy

Last Updated on September 6, 2022

If you are new to the world of medicinal mushrooms, choosing the best Chaga mushroom supplement in Australia may be confusing. We have done all the research for you and have put together this ultimate Chaga Buying Guide to make sure you are getting a top quality product for yourselves and your family.

chaga mushroom

Chaga is a large parasitic fungus that is known to possess many health benefits. This superfood mushroom is native to the cooler regions of Asia, Europe, along with North America and is found growing mainly on birch trees. This burnt charcoal-like black fungus has some impressive health benefits. For centuries the mushroom has been used across Europe and Asia and now the fungus is also gaining popularity as one of the best medicinal mushrooms in Australia.

Considering there are so many products containing Chaga available in the market, and each one claiming to be the best among the rest, it may be a little overwhelming.  Here we will first take a quick overview of Chaga mushrooms and their benefits. We will then move on to our recommendation for the best Chaga supplements in Australia, and to the buying guide. 

Are you in North America? Check out our recommendations for the best Chaga supplements in the US and Canada.

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What is Chaga?

Also known as black gold, Chaga or Inonotus obliquus is a rot-like fungus that produces wood-like growth known as the conk. However, it is not actually a pure mushroom, contrary to popular belief. It is a compact hardened mass of fungal mycelium that is produced when the parasitic mushroom infects the trees on which they grow (mainly alder, birch, cherry, rowan, maple, and oak trees). 

Chaga mushroom is known by various names. It is also called Kabanoanatake in Japan, Tchaga in Russia, and the king of medicinal mushrooms among fungal aficionados. It is one of the highly revered medicinal fungi and a relic of eastern medicine. Chaga cannot be eaten like regular mushrooms at your grocery aisle. They are tough to chew and fibrous like the bark of the trees. The best way to consume Chaga mushroom is to mix the supplement powder in hot water, as an alternative to tea.

Health benefits of Chaga

Chaga mushroom has been used for centuries for its ability to boost the immune system and boost overall wellbeing. 

Chaga mushroom has bioactive compounds such as β-glucans, triterpenoids, and phenolic compounds. It also contains many health-boosting nutrients such as vitamin D and B complex, amino acids, potassium, cesium, rubidium, iron, zinc, copper, fiber, selenium, manganese, calcium, and magnesium. 

This power-packed mushroom is known to have the following health benefits: 

The best Chaga mushroom supplements in Australia

Before you purchase from these brands, we firmly recommend that you read our Chaga buying below . Our main goal here at World Mushroom Society is to help consumers understand how to choose a top quality medicinal mushroom product to get the full health benefits.

Our top 3 picks for the best Chaga mushroom in Australia are:

  1. Dr Noel’s Chaga
  2. Teelixir’s Chaga
  3. SuperFeast Chaga

1. Dr Noel’s Chaga Powder

Our findings

  • Product: Concentrated Chaga Powder
  • Ingredients: 100% Pure Organic Chaga (Inonotus obliquus) mushroom powder
  • Polysaccharides: ≥ 15%
  • Beta Glucans: ≥ 8%
  • Non GMO: Yes
  • Organic: Yes
  • Vegan: Yes
  • Country + Location Grown: Heilongjiang forest and Daxing’anling mountains
  • Price: $59.95 AUD
  • Number of servings: 80
  • Contains Mycelium or Grain? No
  • Contains Fruiting Bodies? Yes
  • Serving suggestion or serving size: Mix 1/4-1/2 tsp (1g) into hot or cold beverage or dish. Can be used multiple times daily for best results.

Pros – What we like

  • The company has over 50 years of experience in studying mushrooms – founded by Dr. Arnold Noel and Xingli Wang
  • 30 years of experience in the organic health food industry
  • Mushrooms have been preheated before pulverisation to powder to be more bioavailable
  • Does not contain starch, grains or filler of any kind
  • Beta glucan amount of ≥ 8%specified on the label
  • 100% Organic, non GMO, Di Dao sourced
  • Certificate of Analysis report provided on request
  • Health benefits: Assists with skin health, immune system, stress and fatigue, inflammation, blood pressure and overall wellbeing

Cons – How it could improve

  • Available in powder form only
  • Not dual extracted so may have less amounts of betulin, betulinic acid and lupeol that is made more bioavailable from an alcohol extraction process


2. Teelixir Chaga Mushroom Extract Powder

Our findings

  • Product: Chaga Mushroom
  • Ingredients: 100% sustainably wild Chaga mushroom powder Inonotus obliquus sclerotia grown on birch trees
  • Extraction Method & Extraction Ratio : 10:1 Dual Extraction
  • Polysaccharides: >2%
  • Beta Glucans: >8%
  • Non GMO: Yes
  • Organic: Yes
  • Vegan: Yes
  • Country + Location Grown: Siberia, Russia
  • Price:
    $55.99 AUD for 100 g (3.5 oz)
    $34.99 AUD for 50 g (1.8 oz)
    $219 AUD for 500 g (1.1 lb)
    $398 AUD for 500 g (1.1 lb)
  • Number of servings: 31
  • Contains Mycelium or Grain? No
  • Contains Fruiting Bodies? Yes
  • Serving suggestion or serving size: Start with 1/4 – 1/2 tsp (1.6g) Chaga mushroom powder per day

Pros – What we like

  • Dual-extracted for increased bioavailability
  • Does not contain any grain filler
  • Low heavy metals verified
  • Beta-glucan amount specified on the label
  • 100% Australian Certified Organic (ACO), non GMO, Di Dao sourced
  • Plastic free and recyclable packaging
  • Improves energy, immune system, skin health, endurance and stamina, stress management
  • Supports gut and digestion

Cons – How it could improve

  • Available in powder form only. Capsules would be more convenient


3. SuperFeast Chaga Mushroom Extract Powder

Our findings

  • Product: Chaga
  • Ingredients: Inonotus obliquus (Chaga)
  • Extraction Method & Extraction Ratio: 10:1 dual extract
  • Polysaccharides: N/A
  • Beta Glucans: N/A
  • Non GMO: Yes
  • Organic: No
  • Vegan: Yes
  • Country + Location Grown: Changbai Mountain region of China
  • Price:
    $78 AUD for 100g
    $142 AUD for 250g
    $471 AUD for 1kg
  • Contains Mycelium or Grain? No
  • Contains Fruiting Bodies? Yes
  • Serving suggestion or serving size: Start with ¼ – ½ tsp daily.

Pros – What we like

  • Independently tested for metals, pesticides, molds, and microbials at TGA accredited facilities
  • Strong emphasis on authentic Di Dao sourcing and Daoist philosophy
  • Dual extracted for bioavailability
  • Does not contain any grain filler
  • $50,000 donated to land care and indigenous charities
  • Health benefits: stress management, energy and fatigue, gut health, improves immune system

Cons – How it could improve

  • Beta-glucan amount currently not specified on the label
  • Not organic


Buying Guide for Chaga Mushroom Supplements in Australia  

1. Ideal Extraction Method 

Most chaga supplements are made from extracts that concentrate medicinal components and make them bioavailble. Extraction is important because in it’s raw form Chaga cannot be broken down by your body and much of it’s medicinal properties will not be absorbed. Extraction methods usually involve pulverizing, heating, and using simple solevents like water and alcohol. 

Dual Extraction Is The Best 

If you’ve scoped out some supplements you’ve probably seen the term “dual extraction” mentioned on the product labels. These types of extractions are typically considered the most effective for medicinal mushroom products. 

These types of extracts are considered “dual” because they use both water and alcohol as solevants. This is important because certain types of compounds found within Chaga are water soluble while others are non-water soluble. In order to ensure that both of these are present a dual extraction is necessary. 

● When water is used as a solvent it is primarily done to extract beta-glucans and other polysaccharides. 

○ Beta-glucans are immunomodulating and anti-cancer compounds present in many medicinal mushrooms. Chaga also has high-antixodant compounds like melanin that are extracted in water. Water extractions typically take place by heating the mushrooms in hot water for several hours. 

● Alcohol is important for the extraction process in Chaga because it removes medicinal compounds known triterpenes. These are compounds that are not consumed when some one makes a simple Chaga tea. 

○ Betulin is a triterpene that also occurs within the bark of Birch, Chagas host tree. It has been shown to have various anti-cancer properties.

○ Betulinic Acid is a triterpenoid derived from Betulin that is produced by the Chaga fungus. It has been shown to have a number of properties including being anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and a good source of antioxidants. 

○ Lupeol is another compound that originates from the Birch shown to have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties. 

Extraction Ratios 

Extraction ratios are used to help determine potency of the product. A 10:1 extract for example suggests that 10kg of Chaga were used to produce 1kg of extract. While this is a good general indicator, the ratio may not always directly reflect the potency of the product. Original potency of the Chaga and the efficiency of extraction methods may effect the potency. It should also be mentioned that higher potency extracts may not always be more effective. 

Many powdered supplements are 1:1 extracts and are often referred to as activated powders. In these cases the liquid extracts are typically dried and reintegrated into the original fungal biomass from which they were extracted. 

2. Importance of Origins: Where is the best Chaga from? 

Like almost all medicinal products, knowing where the original materials come from is crucial to understanding the quality of the product. This is the case for Chaga which supplement producers will often use as part of their marketing strategy. 

While many claim that wild Siberian chaga is the best this may not always be the case. Some studies suggest that Chaga from northern latitudes are generally better but there is still more research needed. China, Finland, Canada, and the United States also produce Chaga of good quality. 

While almost all Chaga is harvested from remote natural places, contamination can be an issue with various medicinal mushroom products. This can be due to their growth occurring in contaminated environments or products can be contaminated during the production/distribution process. Some producers may preform tests on contaminants and will mention this in their product label. 

Wild Chaga over Organic Chaga 

chaga mushroom on birch tree
Image source: Ryan T. Bouchard, The Mushroom Hunting Foundation

You may notice that many Chaga supplements are marketed as being wild harvested. This is because Chaga is not a mushroom that can be cultivated like other medicinal mushrooms. It grows with specific host trees to which it forms a plant/fungal canker containing the medicinal properties. While some companies are cultivating Chaga mycellium it is important to note that this is not as medicinally active. 

For this reason “Organic” is not really the real deal when it comes to Chaga. Cultivated Chaga is much different than wild harvested Chaga. So if you’re deciding to either buy organic or wild Chaga it is better to go with the wild harvested products. Afterall, wild Chaga is practically

organic (some may argue it’s better than organic) considering it grows naturally in remote places in nature. 

One thing to consider is that Chaga is largely a wild harvested product that may be in danger of over-exploitation in certain regions. In order to promote sustainability it may be recommended to find Chaga products that are sustainably extracted. While there are products that are cultivated it is important to note that these may not always be equally effective. 

4. Importance Of Beta-Glucans on The Label 

One of the best ways to determine the quality of a Chaga supplement is to see if there is mention of the beta-glucan content on the product label. These are some of the most important medicinal compounds and good indicators of other fungally-derived compounds. 

While beta-glucans are polysaccharides it is important to distinguish between these two when reading a label. Polysaccharide content could be originating from grains or other plant-based sources. It is important that your product contains no more than 5% polysaccharides than beta-glucans. The best quality products contain very low quantities of starches (like alpha-glucans) and higher quantities of beta-glucans. If grains or other plant-based fillers are mentioned in the ingredient label this can be an indicator of an inferior product. 

The best products may also test for and mention other important components of the product. This may include triterpenes, ergothianine, and other compounds of fungal origins. In some cases they may mention levels of heavy metals and other forms of contamination that are hopefully absent from the product. The more testing and analysis that companies conduct on their products, the more you can trust the contents of the supplement. 

5. Best Drying Method: Freeze Dried, Spray Dried, or Infrared Dried 

Different drying methods can effect the quality of the final product. While all can result in effective products, freeze dried chaga is typically considered the best method. 

● Infrared Drying usually involves drying with infrared heat. The high quantities of heat used in this process may deteriorate some of the temperature sensitive compounds present within a supplement. 

● Spray dying is generally considered better than Infra-red drying because it is conducted at lower temperatures. This process involves spraying liquid extracts with heated gasses that promote evaporation. 

● Freeze drying is often considered the best method because it does not expose the contents to high temperatures. It also may help further break down fungal-materials that then make the medicinal components more bioavailable.

6. Australian grown Chaga vs Chinese grown

There is no such thing as Australian grown Chaga. According to Dr Noel, Chaga is currently banned from being grown in Australia. 

There is ongoing discussion about the quality of medicinal mushrooms coming from China.
China has been using mushroom-based medicine for thousands of years, long before it became popular in the west. China is the largest producer of Chaga mushrooms in the world and the majority of the best quality medicinal mushrooms are grown in China. Most Chinese mushroom farms that grow Chaga are in rural mountain communities.


7. Certificate of analysis

A Certificate of Analysis from a third party lab is important to identify the beneficial compounds (eg. beta-glucans, triterpenes, betulin, lupeol) in the Chaga product, as well as to avoid heavy metals and other foreign contaminants. Heavy metals that are typically tested for range from arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury. Quality Australian sellers should be able to provide this.


Chaga supplements available for purchase in Australia

Chaga mushroom powder

Chaga dried powders are made from pulverising the mushroom. Activated powders have been processed in a way that all make the medicinal compounds bioavailable. This means it can be placed directly into a smoothie, coffee, or other foods/beverages.

Chaga mushroom extract

Extracts contain the individual medicinal compounds of Chaga without the biomass. This is done via an extraction process with hot water and/or alcohol and solvents (dual extraction). This makes small doses of Chaga highly potent, extremely compact, and have a longer shelf life. With an extract, however, you don’t receive the full benefit of consuming the mushroom as a whole food which can exclude some beneficial components.

There are two different types of chaga mushroom extracts available in Australia:

  • 1. Chaga tinctures– Chaga tinctures are liquid extracts that most often use water and alcohol solvents. They are a convenient method of consuming Chaga extract.
  • 2. Chaga powdered extracts– Chaga powdered extracts are the dry powdered result of extracting the individual medicinal compounds from the Chaga mushroom. Powdered extracts can be extracted from both the fruiting body and/or the mycelium.

Chaga capsules

Capsules and Tablets are usually either filled with Chaga mushroom powders or extracts. They are the most convenient way to dose and consume Chaga. Buying capsules are in growing demand in Australia as they are an easy option for those already regularly taking supplements or other medications in this form.

Chaga coffee and tea

Chaga powder can be incorporated into hot drinks such as coffee and tea making it easy to incorporate into daily routine and diet.
Chaga Tea can also be purchased as pre-mixed tea bags containing both Chaga powder and dried tea leaves.
Chaga Coffee products are sold as ground coffee beans mixed with Chaga powder.

Fresh Chaga mushrooms

Chaga is a tough and woody mushroom. It cannot be cooked up like the edible mushrooms you may be more familiar with. In most cases, fruiting bodies should be cooked in simmering water for at least 20 minutes, although three to four hours is most recommended. You cannot buy fresh Chaga mushrooms as whole fruiting bodies currently in Australia.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is Chaga Mushroom Legal in Australia? 

Yes, Chaga is legal for purchase and consumption in Australia. All Chaga supplements and medicinal mushroom products must be registered with the Therapeutic Goods Administration of Australia (TGA). However, it is illegal to grow Chaga in Australia.

Can Chaga be purchased from my doctor?

You cannot buy it from your doctor in Australia. Although Chaga is considered a Medicinal Mushroom,you also do not need a prescription for it. Chaga is considered a complementary medicine that can be purchased online or in stores.

In Australia, medicinal products containing such ingredients as certain herbs, vitamins and minerals, nutritional supplements, homeopathic medicines and aromatherapy products are referred to as ‘complementary medicines’ and are regulated as medicines by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) under the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 (the Act) and the supporting Therapeutic Goods Regulations 1990.

You may however be able to purchase Chaga from a Traditional Chinese Medical (TCM) practitioner.

Can Chaga products be purchased from a naturopath?

Yes, many Australian naturopaths sell Chaga supplements as part of their treatment for various illnesses. 

Does Chemist Warehouse sell Chaga?

Chemist Warehouse does not currently sell any Chaga Mushrooms products in Australia.

How much does Chaga mushrooms cost in Australia?

The price of Chaga in Australia can vary, depending on the product type and producer.

Chaga Extracts, powders and capsules can range from $25 per product to over $100.

Conclusion

We hope this guide has helped you learn more about buying Chaga in Australia. Chaga should be used as a supplement to a holistic treatment that often includes changes in diet, habits, and daily lifestyles. Good luck with your Chaga purchase!

Check out our other medicinal mushroom buying guides for Australia:

You may also be interested in:

We are not a traditional society or club. World Mushroom Society is a collective of fungi enthusiasts and health advocates, sharing information and identifying top producers of high quality medicinal mushroom supplements.

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DISCLAIMER

DISCLAIMER
The information on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information found here is not meant as a substitute for, or alternative to, information from your doctor for ongoing medical treatment you currently receive. If unsure, please consult with your doctor before using medicinal mushrooms. Any content related to cancer should not be considered as prescriptive medical advice and should not be a substitute for any cancer treatment, unless advised by your doctor first. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by TGA and FDA-approved research. If you are pregnant or on prescription drugs that thin the blood, consult with your medical professional before using medicinal mushrooms.
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